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Author Topic: Best time to move a whole hive (night or day)  (Read 2243 times)
dpence
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« on: March 04, 2008, 11:19:56 AM »

Hi guys,
    No sure this is the right place to post this question.  I am acquiring some hives from an individual who wants them removed from his land.  The woodenware looks to be in pretty good shape.  Can I use tie straps to bind the boxes and all together in order to move them?  Should I tape up the entrance possibly at night then move it at that time?  I have never moved a full hive before.  Any tips or strategies is greatly appreciated.  I plan to open them up for an inspection before anything happens but just trying to develop a plan of attack.  Thanks.

David
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wayne
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« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2008, 12:46:29 PM »

  Double check the wooden ware and make sure it's solid. Seal them after sundown and move then or next morning. Use the straps you mentioned.
  Once at the new home and setup place a limb to cause re-orientation and open the front door.
  That's my idea.
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2008, 01:19:13 PM »

I move bees around all the time and would say move them at night. I use a bee net  to cover the whole load on the truck but if no net is available you can use aluminum widow screen. staple it or push some into the entrance at night when they all have come home. If you are moving them farther then a couple of miles they will reorintate on their own.  beware bees crawl at night and right up your legs so prep yourself before you start moving them.
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2008, 02:27:23 PM »

At night when they are all inside. First thing, without hesitation, place the screen over the entrance. Do anything else and they will come out to investigate. I had a couple of hives that boiled out. Really made it difficult from then on.

I used pieces of 3/4 x 3/4 strips of wood nailed with my trusty brad nailer to hold the hives together and then my wife would help me pick them up and place them in the back of the pickup. One or two boxes is fine. When they get three or more boxes high they get hard to handle. As this was 150 miles away I had to do it at one shot. If it was closer I might have gone through and reduced the size. Let them calm down a day or two, and then moved them.

Next morning I unloaded them and opened them up. Since it was over a hundred miles I didn't do any reorientation obstructions.

DO NOT TOTALLY SEAL THEM UP!!!! They will over heat.

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KONASDAD
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2008, 02:35:24 PM »

For a hobbiest, betterbee sells an inexpensive little universal entrance closure.($1.95) Just put it on and carry off hive as jerry said.
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2008, 02:46:41 PM »

screen works great.  I have bees here in Missouri and right now it is not warm enough for them to really move much.  Just move them in the morning when it is like 30 degrees outside.  Dont bother closing anything up, they probably will not even bother to come out and look at you. 

If it makes you feel more comfortable then maybe you should close the entrance with either screen or even newspaper.  Just remove the closure at the new location.
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2008, 03:00:25 PM »

I put a screen in front at night and then use tie straps and a dolly. 
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2008, 11:07:30 PM »

We recently moved a hive from a feind's farm to mine.  We went on a cold evening around sunset.  We warpped staps with wratchets across both the side to side and front to back aspects of the hive.  We put in an entrance reducer and stuffed a paper towel to completely occlude the entrance.  When we got to my place, we picked up the hive, put it on concrete blocks and took out the paper.  Nothing that I can tell wnet wrong.
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Brian
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2008, 12:37:41 AM »

Hi guys,
    No sure this is the right place to post this question.  I am acquiring some hives from an individual who wants them removed from his land.  The woodenware looks to be in pretty good shape.  Can I use tie straps to bind the boxes and all together in order to move them?  Should I tape up the entrance possibly at night then move it at that time?  I have never moved a full hive before.  Any tips or strategies is greatly appreciated.  I plan to open them up for an inspection before anything happens but just trying to develop a plan of attack.  Thanks.

David

Are you a night person or a morning person? This is the question. Seal them up before they start flying in the dark, either early morning or after dark. Make sure they have adequate ventillation. Move them to the yard and expose the entrance.

....JP
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2008, 07:41:22 AM »

What I would do depends on the help available and the equipment available.  If I have no help, I'd load them up in the daytime, (one box at a time) leave them open for the bees to find them and close them up that night and go.  If I have the equipment and the help, I'd harvest all the honey (to make them lighter) wait until dark and close them up and load them after dark in one piece.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmoving.htm
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Sir Stungalot
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2008, 09:22:45 AM »

Sounds like we are all kinda' saying the same thing- here is my hat in the ring.  I am assuming that the hives are no more than 2 boxes high this time of year in Mo.  If not, check to see if it is even needed to have any more than 2 boxes (or one for that matter-bees may all be clustered in one box). Could be that there are extra boxes piles onto the hive if they have not been tended to.  Extra boxes? Get them off the hives prior to your moving- you do not need to be fooling with them when you go to move. You can put them back on later if you want.

Myself, I NEVER move the bees at night, I have had some bad, bad moments doing that.

Better- wait untill sunset when most of the bees are back home for the night. Use paper towels to plug up the entrance- you can make a tight plug with them. If you want, run a piece of duct tape across the whole thing (paper towels) just to make sure wind does not pull them out- though that does not often happen.

In the morning, load them onto your truck. I often will use duct tape to secure the boxes together if not a long trip. Otherwise, a strap with a ratchet will do fine.

Once at the new location, just unload to new spot, unplug and go.

Since you are in MO. and it is still pretty cold there, this is all going to be pretty easy for you. On a cold day, the bees won't even be flying- just jam up the entrance and move them at whatever time suits you.

It is not as scarry a project as it seems.  I have done it a ton of times and now, I do not even think about it. Just plug and go.  The big guys move hundreds at a time...the bees survive and so does the beekeeper, lol.
The first time I ever "touched" bees was the night I went to pick up an entire sideliner bee biz I had just purchased. The former owner pointed at rows of hives and said "go get em'".  It was dark, no moon, the hives were piled high with supers, I was by myself- just could not be a worse situation.  I survived...barely.  I wish I knew then what I know now! Moving is easy, if done right.
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Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2008, 09:48:13 AM »

Ha, that reminds me of my moving 4 nucs last spring.  I picked them up at dusk, but it was pretty much dark by the time I was home.  I had plugged the entrance with a plastic mite screen that I put over the sticky boards.  I thought that it would work pretty good, but it was rather flimsy, or whatever.  During the move the screeen must have come out partially (I will use thin hardware cloth from now on, or something else, that makes a tighter fit).  A couple of bees got out and when I placed the hive body on the brick, I felt that bee on the top of my lip. 

We have all experienced bee stings.  But I tell ya, the top of the lip is very sensitive.  I could feel the bee grabbing on with her back legs, I new it was coming, and yep, it did, I had the swollen slip for a couple of days to prove it.

Just like when that swarm fell on my head when I couldn't hold up the branch.  I felt every one of the girls grabbing onto my face with their sticky back legs, and man, I knew then that multiple injections were about to occur.  I dislike that feeling of those prickly little feet grabbing onto me for dear life, that even brings up some rather strange and weird emotions right now, I don't like that one little bit.  The face is the worst part to get the sting in me eyes, oh no, a'ramblin' I must be goin'.  Beautiful day, beautiful life, beautifully beautiful.  Cindi
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JP
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2008, 10:03:06 AM »

Got stung on the top lip by a yellow jacket yrs ago and it swelled up and blocked off my left nostril for most of that day and into the early evening. Trust me, I know the lip is not where you want stings.


....JP
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sean
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« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2008, 06:02:08 PM »

when you unplug, move away from the entrance immediatley. I have moved a couple and you weant to be nowhere near the front of those hives when you remove the entrance block.
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johnnybigfish
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« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2008, 07:44:09 PM »

Ok, You 2 quit talking about stings...I'm starting to Crack up again..I have that goofy look on my face. I never thought about those back legs digging in till you mentioned that!!
 Anyways, back to the matter at hand....
 Either build lots of muscles real quick or get some help shocked
I used to be strong...until I got bees...Now I'm weak!
Thats what i told people when I moved my hive(I've only moved one so far but that was very influential in my decisions as to where I will put my new hives!)
 They're pretty heavy!
your friend,
john
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tbeddy
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« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2008, 09:13:36 PM »

The first hive that I moved I duct taped and put in the back of my mini van.  Well, the boxes shifted and broke loose and immediately I had tens of thousands of bees in the van.  Not good.  By the time I got the boxes put together I had more welts than I care to remember, besides I lost about 1/3 of the colony.  Now I never move them without securing them together with a cinch strap.
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wtiger
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« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2008, 11:17:23 PM »

I would block the entrance at night and move them in the morning; because if you make a mistake the bees seem to be much more irritable at night, prone to crawling up the pant leg and stinging and chasing you down and stinging youif you have a flashlight and make a mistake like dropping a hive.  I remember last year I moved my hives to their new stand during the day and at night I thought I would set branches all over the hive so they reorient on the new location in the morning and unblocked the entrance.  It probably would have been funny to watch.  I got nailed 2 or 3 times before I realized what was happening, dropped the flashlight, and ran for the hills.  Nothing like having a small cloud of bees come boiling out of the hive and orienting on you because you have a light.  It would have be much worse if you accidentally dropped a hive at night.  strapped or not it'd probably open a gap big enough somewhere for the bees to come boiling out.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #17 on: March 05, 2008, 11:59:30 PM »

Yeah, and at night they walk over and crawl up your legs.  I don't move a hive with out blocking the entrance and using a moving screen.  Of course with my hives being top entrance and bottomless putting on a moving screen does the whole 9 yards. 
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2008, 08:03:48 AM »

That depends.  If you can close them and load them in one piece (pretty hard with only one person and difficult even with three or four) then night is the time to load them.  If you have to do it a box at a time, I'd do it in the daytime and leave an empty box to catch the stragglers.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmoving.htm
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dpence
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« Reply #19 on: March 12, 2008, 10:25:52 AM »

Thanks everyone for all the information.  I have some volunteers (my students) to help me when the time comes.  I plan to move some of my hives to another location for mating yard purposes during spring break if the weather stays good.

We looked the hives over I talked about and have decided to leave them be.  The woodenware is not as solid as I thought plus the bees look a bit sickly.  I saw deformed wings and lots of brown spots on the front of the hives (a lot of bee poop).  Shame, I think the former keeper just moved away and left them.  A guy up the road from the farm wants to look them over so I basically backed out and am giving him the opportunity.

Sorry I have not been on here in a few days, life gets hectic for me around spring break.  LOL

David



 
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